Dolomites Circular Trek
The Dolomites are part of the Alps but with their own unique geology and landscape. They are best known for their incredible sheer peaks, the startling colours of their rocks at sunset and the idyllic beauty of their flower-filled meadows. This original and varied landscape in northeastern Italy has now been given UNESCO World Natural Heritage status. The network of trails we use show off the beauty of the landscape and are enriched by the historical interest of the sites.
The startling rose-tinted limestone peaks of the Dolomites are arguably the most beautiful mountains in the world. Every valley that we pass on our 8-day Dolomites Circular Trek retains its own unique culture, architecture and landscape. Each day we hike up to the ridges and descend into the valleys below, with time to enjoy views of classic Dolomite peaks. As well as magnificent hikes and the odd marmot, you’ll visit the trenches from the mountain frontline of WWI and enjoy fabulous local food and wine.
Get Ready For
- Experience Italian hospitality at its finest
- Marvel at the spectacular mountain scenery
- Visit the trenches from the mountain frontline of WWI
- Walk with an experienced International Mountain Leader
- Enjoy local specialities, perfect coffee and great company
On the trail & Video
The trails on the Dolomites can be narrow, steep and quite exposed in sections. Dizzying heights and steep slopes are a feature of the walks in this area, so you need to be prepared for this. The Dolomites are not suitable for people who experience vertigo. The terrain is often uneven, rough, rocky and hard underfoot. Please speak to our Destination Expert should you have any questions or concerns about your ability to undertake this trek.
Each day you will be trekking an average of 18-22km. This is an approximate only as occasionally your guide will choose to take a different route due to things like weather, group fitness or trail closure. While it is unlikely that you will exceed much more than 22km on a regular basis, please ensure that you are fit enough to comfortably trek up to 26km per day including ascents and descents of 1000m+.
Arrive today in the mountain town of Calalzo. There is a compulsory welcome meeting scheduled with your trek leader at 17:00 at the hotel. Before meeting with your trek leader the afternoon is free for you to explore the town and its amazing mountain surrounds. We will enjoy our first dinner together after the briefing.
After a short bus ride, we start hiking up through larch forests to the charming Rifugio Antelao, then up to our high point at San Dionisio to see the magnificent and wild view of the Monte Antelao and Marmarole massifs. We then have a long descent to the Boite River Valley and our welcoming hotel for the night.
7-8 hours walking – ascent 1100m / descent 1100m
Meals: B L D
After a short bus ride (c50mins) we start our trek at the Passo Tre Croci. Our route is at first gentle, then steepens amidst dramatic scenery. Magnificent views of Monte Cristallo and the Sorapiss range open up as we gain the rocky limestone landscape so typical of the Dolomites. After threading our way through this spectacular but demanding landscape, we descend to Cortina by cable car and then catch a local bus (8 mins) to our simple, traditional hotel.
Please note that our hotel tonight has shared bathrooms and is more simple in style. However, it is comfortable, with great views of the mountains and well located for our itinerary, enabling us to walk out from the hotel the following day.
5-6.5 hours walking – ascent 700m / descent 550m
Meals: B L D
Today we walk into the Fanes Dolomites, home to fascinating Ladin legends as well as stunning scenery. We begin our ascent in shady larch forests, then we descend past a magnificent gorge with glimpses of the crystal-clear blue water. Then we climb higher, in more open country with magnificent views of the stark Dolomites limestone. Tonight we stay in a cosy refuge at 2000m above sea level, surrounded by the peaks. As we are now in South Tyrol you will notice a more Austrian influence, be it in the lederhosen and traditional outfits of the staff or the goulash and apple strudel at dinner. As well as the excellent Italian wines you can now enjoy a Tyrolean beer!
Please note: Accommodation this evening is in a refuge in a remote location and, while the rooms are very comfortable and usually ensuite, sometimes we cannot provide twin share. In this case, rooms would be gender specific and offered on a triple or quad share basis. You will need to pack a small overnight bag as the refuge is not accessible by road and we cannot get your luggage in.
7 hours walking – ascent 1100m / descent 400m
Meals: B L D
Crossing high Alpine meadows and rocky tracks, we descend to Pederu in the heart of the nature park and then ascend, past traditional farm buildings, to a mountain pass where we can take our picnic lunch in a field of edelweiss encircled by towering limestone massifs. Then the trail leads south and downhill, steeply in parts, to Alta Badia and the delightful small town of San Cassiano. You will be able to enjoy the typical Tyrolean hospitality and food at our comfortable hotel for the night.
7 hours walking – ascent 600m / descent 1200m
Meals: B L D
We ascend to Passo Falzarego and cross high ground to the Cinque Torri area. Enjoy the magnificent views in all directions, including the highest mountain in the Dolomites, the glacier-clad Marmolada. Today we will also have the opportunity to visit the trenches dug into the mountains in World War I. We can learn more about the history of the area, there are many stirring stories of bravery and tragedy from that era. Tonight we stay in a well designed and comfortable refuge with a panoramic view. No less impressive is the menu, you have used up plenty of calories so you’ll be glad to know that replacing them will not be a problem at all.
5-6 hours walking – ascent 800m / descent 800m
Meals: B L D
Our final day’s walking takes us through incredible mountain scenery, with sheer cliffs and towering peaks on both sides we traverse the Croda da Lago to lunch at a cosy refuge in a lovely setting beside a small lake (you can even take a dip if you like!) Then we descend to the Cadore valley once more. A final short bus ride (approx 1hr) brings us back to Calalzo and the welcome of our friendly hotel. Tonight we can celebrate our achievement by enjoying a traditional woodfired pizza.
7-8 hours walking – ascent 700m / descent 1000m
Meals: B L
- 2 nights Calalzo hotel on twin-share basis
- 5 nights half-board accommodation in small hotels and refuges
- Qualified and experienced trekking guide
- Local briefing in Calalzo
- Daily meals as outlined above
- Midday picnics (in addition to daily breakfast and dinner)
- Transportation where needed in the tour
- Luggage transfers on all but one trekking day
- Flights to and from your destination
- Travel insurance
- Dinner on day 7
- Expenses of a personal nature
- Single supplement
International Mountain Leaders
We have our own staff of experienced and qualified International Mountain Leaders. Not only do they know the trek routes exceptionally well but they will excel in looking after you; your safety is our priority in an alpine environment. All our guides are native English speakers, so clear communication is never an issue.
Our comprehensive Destination Guide is bursting with inspiration, travel essentials, background information and more! Essential reading to help you plan, prepare and enjoy a memorable trip in the Alps.
The whole trek was a wonderful experience. Our guide, Dave Barber, did an awesome job in making this a trip of a lifetime. Very professional – making sure all the logistics were spot on everyday as well as being knowledgeable about the history and uniqueness of where we trekked. He also made sure we were all challenged with the pace but had fun along the way.
Cornelia Mckee, Karalee (QLD) – July 2019
I had high expectations for this trip which were amazingly exceeded. The scenery was so much more spectacular in real life than any photos could try to convey. The walk was challenging but the rewards more than outweighed the effort. Can’t speak highly enough of our guide Diane. She was just so knowledgeable and helpful and engaging with each and everyone of us. The enjoyment I got from this trip was, in a large part, due to her. The hotels and Rifugios we stayed at were also wonderful. This was my second trip with RAW Travel as a solo traveller. As with the first, everything went so enjoyably smoothly without a single hitch. I enjoyed it so much that I’m sure a third trip with RAW Travel is not far away!
Stephen Youla, Pascoe Vale South (VIC) – July 2019
The itinerary was amazing. Every day was very different. Different landscapes, accommodations, tracks. Our guide was knowledgeable and helpful in every way. I would absolutely recommend this hike to everyone. Truly unique.
Joylene Cooke, Sorrento (WA) – July 2019
Loved my Dolomites trip. The scenery was spectacular. The Dolomites are overwhelmingly majestic, and it was an amazing place to trek. Our guide, Diane, ensured that the trip was flawlessly organised. All I had to do was enjoy! Great people. Great accommodation and food. Great experience.
Angela Maltby, Te Puke (New Zealand) – June 2019
I’m back from Italy (we toured for quite a while after the Dolomites trip)…the Dolomites walk was really good. The weather was not quite so good, but you can’t have everything. It is such an amazing landscape. And Diane is a great guide. She really knows what she’s doing. She was very conscious of how each walker was going and kept an appropriate pace and eye on things. The accommodation, meals, transfers and the overall itinerary worked really well. I’ve now done several guided multi-day walks both in Australia and overseas and Diane is certainly the best guide I have come across. Thanks for a really good trip!
CB (NSW) – September 2018
Experiencing the majestic mountain terrain of the Dolomites and being so up close in nature every day for a week was definitely a highlight for me. We were also very fortunate to have a wonderful group of people on the walk who looked out for each other and offered good conversation and a lot of humour as we trekked along each day. I cannot speak more highly of David our guide who was very experienced and knowledgeable and encouraged us all along the way. He kept us safe during the more challenging parts of the walk and was always tuned into everyone’s needs. I would definitely sign up on a tour again if David was our guide!
Margot Perkins, Paddington (QLD) – September 2018
The scenery was amazing and each day offered different experiences including natural beauty, physical challenge and culture. David Barber was an excellent guide who was quick to assist or guide people through difficult sections as well as catering for different desires and limitations. The overnight stay at Fodara Vedla was simply stunning and a great experience including Austrian folk music, venison goulash and apple strudel. Overall, the food provided by the hosts was just incredible and a cultural experience on its own. Loved the whole trip and would recommend to anyone interested in an active holiday.
Andrew Perkins, Paddington (QLD) – September 2018
Being high in the mountains where life is taken more slowly, nature and the weather really turned it on for our group! The bonus was our guide, Diane – absolutely brilliant and so informative and clever.
Jill Hammond, Toowoomba East (QLD) – July 2018
- Italian hospitality at its finest
- Local specialities, perfect coffee, great company
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- Embrace the challenge of this strenuous trekking
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TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed